May 2020
Vol 7 | Issue 309

Q&A with Amir Jafri of Immunicom, Inc.

CEO / Founder

Principal Series:

Immunicom, a healthcare technology company, seeks to leverage its therapeutic oncology product to address unmet medical needs and improve patient access and affordability of cancer and other inflammatory and autoimmune disease treatments around the world. Immunicom’s revolutionary blood-filtering technology has the potential to effectively treat a wide variety of cancer types including those that have not responded to other treatment strategies including other drug and biological-based immunotherapy options with possibly fewer side effects.

As testimony to its innovation, Immunicom has received both European regulatory approval with its CE Mark certification and a Breakthrough Device Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Immunopheresis™ therapy. This FDA designation is awarded to no more than 25 companies a year. Immunicom’s innovative product is based on a proprietary technology that selectively removes immune inhibitors from a patient’s bloodstream potentially enabling their natural immune system to more-effectively attack cancer tumors and other major disease conditions.

Headquartered in San Diego, California Immunicom’s team consists of healthcare industry experts who each have over 200 years of collective global senior executive experience in private and Fortune 20 medical technology and pharmaceutical companies. The team is highly experienced in development, clinical and regulatory affairs, manufacturing and global commercialization related to both medical devices and pharmacologic therapies.

During their careers, the current Immunicom team has raised over $13B in shareholder value, led 3 successful IPOs, conducted over 10 successful M&A transactions, and successfully commercialized over 50 medical products around the world.

The Investment Opportunity:
$10M Bridge convertible to $30M Series C with escalating valuation cap.
Funds by June 12 – valuation cap $100M with 5% warrant coverage
Funds by July 31 – valuation cap $120M
Projected Series C pre-money valuation $150M (Q4’20 – Q1’21)

Join us for a private Family Office Insights Webinar Wednesday May 27th at 2:15 pm Eastern

While COVID-19 is top of mind across the world and we are developing a version of technology to address oncology and COVID-19, we need to understand the magnitude of the cancer market Immunicom is addressing. As an example, the state of California currently has approximately 3,200 deaths attributed to COVID-19, while it has 60,000 deaths every year related to Stage 4 cancers, a disease condition for which we do not have adequate treatments and one that destroys families emotionally and financially. COVID-19 will ultimately dissipate into a manageable disease, while cancer will continue to ravage patients and their families for decades to come.

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How does Immunicom's technology work and compare to current therapies in oncology?

Immunicom has developed a breakthrough approach to cancer immunotherapy that is applicable to all solid tumor cancers. Immunicom targets soluble immune factors that are secreted by tumor cells that block the immune system from attacking the tumor. We design proprietary capture molecules that bind exclusively to these “blocking” proteins. Instead of converting our capture molecule into a drug, we bind it to our proprietary liquid filter, which then attaches to any existing plasmapheresis machine in the hospital. These machines are similar to dialysis machines and are in every hospital around the world. The patient gets a couple of IVs attached to them and comfortably sits for a couple of hours while their blood gets filtered through our technology. Our filter selectively targets only the “blocking” protein produced by the tumor cells and efficiently and safely removes these from the patient’s blood. Nothing is added to the patient’s body nor any changes made to the patient’s blood chemistry.

Once the “blocking” protein is removed, the tumor is exposed to the immune systems natural cell death processes. This unique approach has proven to be very safe in over 700 treatments, with patients having almost no side effects and usually improvement in their quality of life. Because of the potential benefits Immunicom’s approach provides cancer patients, the FDA has granted us Breakthrough Technology Designation. We have recently gotten our CE Mark regulatory approval in Europe based on compelling early data in our clinical trial. CE Mark approval is comparable to the FDA and is accepted globally in all countries except the US.

By safely and efficiently removing the “blocking” protein outside the body, we stabilize the immune system and improve the response of other cancer therapies. While our therapy has been shown to be effective as a stand-alone monotherapy, it also serves as the perfect adjunct therapy for most other cancer therapies, including the latest immunotherapy drugs. Our goal is to position Immunicom as the perfect therapy to include in any “standard of care” treatment, regardless of which other oncology drug it is being combined.

Our unique approach allows our technology to be approved as a medical device from a regulatory perspective. This provides for a much faster time to market and easier regulatory approval pathway. At the same time, our product is an immunotherapy platform for oncology and other major diseases and has market economics and return on investments metrics similar to oncology pharmaceutical products, without the high investment and long time to market issues and risks. Due to significantly lower development cost, Immunicom’s immunotherapy solutions are expected to be priced closer to current affordable chemotherapy treatments, well below the current immunotherapy drugs the cost anywhere from $120,000 to $250,000 per patient.

Our approach is to make our therapy a “no-brainer” for the oncologist, patient, and payer by making it safe, effective and the perfect combination while improving the patient’s quality of life in an affordable manner.

What is Immunicom's go-to-market strategy and timelines for investor returns?

Immunicom is in a unique position to be able to leverage rapid global regulatory approval in oncology due to its European CE Mark approval and FDA Breakthrough technology designation. We have trials underway in Europe for Triple Negative Breast Cancer, Tel Aviv Israel for Melanoma, and Istanbul for Lung Cancer. Our technology platform allows us to rapidly develop products for other diseases, like Cardiovascular and Auto-Immune conditions. We expect to have 2 additional products developed by Q3 2020. These products have applicability to the aforementioned disease conditions but also for treatment of critically ill COVID-19 patients.

The broad multiple major market segment applicability of our platform, combined with the ability of our solution to work seamlessly with existing drugs and protocols, should make Immunicom a very attractive target.

Our strategy is to partner with major regional pharmaceutical companies around the world to bring our product to market either through lucrative and large licensing arrangements or technology acquisition. In the therapeutic oncology sector, these deals range anywhere from $500M+ to multi-billion.

By the end of this year, we expect to have compelling data across multiple cancers, further European and potential FDA approvals being executed, and other major disease treatments with associated intellectual property. This should allow us to be positioned for discussions and negotiations during 2021 with the aforementioned pharmaceutical companies.

Our expectation is to have potentially have multiple major monetization events for our shareholders beginning in 2022.

What are the risk factors and how has the company mitigated these risks?

There are 3 common risk factors for biotech companies at Immunicom’s stage: 1) clinical trial design and outcome, 2) execution and management team, 3) adequate capital. We believe we have properly mitigated all 3 of these risk factors.

1) Clinical trial design and outcome: Most companies at Immunicom’s size and stage have one clinical trial that determines the company’s future outcome. The risks are significant as many factors can lead to failure of a trial and the subsequent demise of the company. Fortunately, Immunicom’s technology was compelling enough to get 2 major strategic partners to fund additional trials for multiple cancer indications.

Immunicom has 3 concurrent trials, all slated to be completed by mid to late 2021. Our primary trial is being conducted in Europe focusing on Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) and is directly funded by Immunicom. Our Melanoma trial at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv is being funded by Henry Samueli, co-founder of Broadcom and tech billionaire. Our Lung Cancer trial is 75% funded by Acibadem Hospital and Medical University System, the second largest private healthcare system in Asia with premier Tier 1 hospitals.

We already have compelling enough data from our TNBC European trial to obtain early European CE Mark approval. We anticipate positive results from our Israeli and Turkish trials. By spreading the risk across 3 trials and multiple cancers, without incurring the financial burden of all 3 trials, we believe we have significantly mitigated our risk. One successful trial in oncology creates enormous value potentially worth billions of dollars.

2) Execution and management team: Immunicom has successfully executed against its key milestones in the past. Our management team is experienced and seasoned in both running multibillion-dollar global operations as well as successful startup companies. We have over 200 years of combined experience as seasoned healthcare technology executives with over $13B created in shareholder value, 10+ successful major mergers and acquisitions (M&A) transactions, more the 50 healthcare technology products commercialized globally, and 3 successful IPOs. During the current global pandemic crisis, we were able to keep our key clinical trials on track, successfully secure our European approval, expand our manufacturing capabilities, while extending our fiscal run rate without requiring assistance from our existing shareholders. Every management team in the world is being tested right now. We have demonstrated that not only can we execute during a global crisis, but also keep the company moving forward at a rapid pace. As they say in Texas, where our CEO / founder (Amir Jafri) is from, “this isn’t our first rodeo”. We have successfully built, run, and exited companies many times in our career.

3) Adequate capital: Immunicom has raised $25M to-date across 2 rounds from high net-worth individuals and family offices. Our Series B round had a post-money valuation of $84M. We expect our Series C round to potentially be our final capital round, providing adequate capital to achieve a monetization event that not only makes the company financially secure, but potentially provides our shareholders with a return on investment (see Question 2 answer). Our financial risk is further mitigated by funding of 2 of our clinical trials through major strategic partners (Henry Samueli / Sheba Medical Center and Acibadem). We believe we are close to the finish line and with the vast majority of our funding risk being mitigated through product validation, regulatory approvals, and strategic partnerships.

We believe the convertible Bridge funds ($10M) provide adequate runway to secure significant progress through Q2 2021 (see Question 2 answer). This allows us to begin our Preferred Series C raise in Q4 2020 at a substantial pre-money valuation, giving the Bridge investor a significant discount on their conversion terms.

The Investment Opportunity:
$10M Bridge convertible to $30M Series C with escalating valuation cap.
Funds by June 12 – valuation cap $100M with 5% warrant coverage
Funds by July 31 – valuation cap $120M
Projected Series C pre-money valuation $150M (Q4’20 - Q1’21)

Amir Jafri of Immunicom, Inc.

Mr. Amir Jafri is the founder of Immunicom and has served as its President and Chief Executive Officer since the company’s inception in 2013. Immunicom is developing a revolutionary cancer treatment that is affordable and potentially eliminate side effects. Immunicom’s technology has been classified by the FDA as a “Breakthrough Technology.”

Mr. Jafri has over 25 years of experience in healthcare technology and devices. As a senior executive in Fortune 20 companies and his own startups, he has managed multi-billion-dollar products on a global basis and is highly experienced with global regulatory environments. He was COO at West Health Institute; Vice President/CTO, Vice President R&D and Vice President Operations at Cardinal Health managing products with over $1B in annual revenue (NYSE: CAH).

Mr. Jafri was also the Vice President/General Manager Healthcare Division at Manpower Group (Comsys division), responsible for the healthcare technology practice nationwide across 35 locations (NYSE: MAN). Prior to joining Manpower/Comsys, he founded various healthcare startups that were subsequently acquired. He has successfully managed global businesses and has a track record of success in every business he has led.

Mr. Jafri serves on the Board of various healthcare technology startup companies and non-profit organizations. He started his business career at the age of 17 with his first software startup in Houston Texas. Contact Amir: